Windows Phone 8.1 has leaked six ways from Sunday, thanks in no small part to the availability of the platform’s SDK just a few weeks ago. We expect to see Microsoft go official with WP8.1 in a big way at the BUILD conference early next month, and after that it should be just a matter of time before we see the arrival of the first phones running the software, not to mention the arrival of updates for existing devices. Recently, Microsoft started taking one more step towards the arrival of WP8.1, as it begun recording 8.1 compatibility during app submissions.
Don’t let that have you thinking that WP8.1 will break existing apps – current Windows Phone 8 software should keep running without a hitch. But the need for this new designation becomes apparent when you consider new functionality arriving with 8.1 in specific, and how new apps might offer 8.1 support, but not work with the old 8.0.
We still don’t see 8.1 showing up in the “works with” column in the Windows Phone Store, but that’s to be expected – the notes for 8.1 compatibility likely won’t be visible to the public until the platform itself has properly launched. In the meantime, we hope devs are busy taking full advantage of 8.1 and that SDK, in hopes of wowing us once the release finally arrives.